By Jeff Yates, ACT Executive Director
I. ComScores Sample
The survey includes only online consumers (referred to as “consumers” below and throughout the survey). ComScore passively observes a panel of one million U.S. consumers and specifically surveyed 2000 online consumers in February and March, 2010.
II. Online Shopping
- 72% of consumers have used the Internet to find auto insurance information at some time.
- 71% who see an ad and want to learn more, go online to the referenced website, a search engine or to find an agent.
- 52% of consumers shopped auto insurance in 2008, whether online or off line and 39% of those switched insurers.
- 50% of online insurance shoppers are under 35.
- 44% of online shoppers are on the Internet 20+ hours a week.
- 21% said they are more likely to shop for insurance due to the current economy (up 3 percentage points from prior year).
- 44% of consumers said they are happy with current company and are unlikely to consider changing (down from 50% 3 years ago).
III. Online Quoting
- 67% of those who shopped for auto insurance in the past year went online to get a quote (up 4%), while 22% went to a multiple carrier agent to get a quote (down 3%) and 22% went to a single company agent (down 4%).
- 38.8 million quotes were submitted online in 2009, a 21% increase from 2008. (Online quotes had actually gone down 1% in 2008).
- 73 million quotes were started online in 2009 (about 50-55% of these quotes were completed). (Source- comScore webinar, May 6, 2010).
- 83% of online quotes were from insurer sites and 17% were from aggregators (including online agents and lead generators). See page 7 of survey for percentage of online quotes by carrier.
IV. Online Purchases
- 2.8 million auto insurance policies were purchased online in 2009, up 22% from 2008.
- 23% of 18-24 year old shoppers purchased their policies online versus 9% of those 55+.
- 22% of online quotes were taken to online policy purchase initiation in 2009 (up 2 percentage points).
- 78% of consumers who have received an online quote at some time said they have made a purchase offline soon thereafter. 59% of these offline purchasers have bought from a local agent in person, 35% have bought from an agent on the phone, and 27% have bought over a toll free number.
- 63% of consumers said they originally purchased their auto policy with a local agent (down from 68% in 2008). 45% buying from an agent bought in person and 18% bought from the agent over the phone.
- 17% of consumers said they originally purchased their auto policy online (up from 15% in 2008) and 15% said they originally bought over a toll free number (up from 13% in 2008). However, if the consumer has had the policy less than a year, the percentage who bought online jumps to 26%.
V. Changing Perceptions of Buying Online
- 35% of those who haven’t purchased auto insurance online to-date say they are likely to do so in the future (up 7 percentage points from prior year).
- The number one reason given by those who are unlikely to purchase online is because they want to speak to or meet with a person (66%; but this is down 5 percentage points from the prior year).
- Fewer consumers are indicating resistance to online purchases because of a reluctance to provide personal information on a website.
- Providing a discount would be the biggest incentive to encourage reluctant online purchasers to purchase online, followed by guaranteed website security.
VI. Consumer Buying Habits
- 49% of purchasers of auto insurance said price was the most important factor (62% of online purchasers compared to 45% of those who purchased through an agent).
- The survey provides good information on the reasons why consumers chose to buy through an agent (top four-wanted real person; have always used an agent; wanted local agent from one company who could help with all insurance needs; agent quoted best price) (p. 29).
- The survey also provides good information on why consumers chose not to go through an agent (top four- convenience; speed; started with a toll number and wanted to finish by that method; prefer website or toll free number) (p.30).
- The survey provides a ranking of factors that would cause consumers to consider changing companies (p. 31); and the coverage features consumers are willing to pay for (pp.36-37).
VII. Changing Processes
- 82% of online auto insurance purchasers completed all forms online (21% of phone purchasers were referred to website to complete forms).
- Over the last three years, the percentage of consumers getting their bill or payment reminder through the mail has declined to 64% from 70%. The percentage getting their bill by email has increased to 31% (up 4 points), and 24% of those still getting their bill by mail would like to get it by email. 4% of consumers get their bill or payment reminder by text message (up from 2%).
- 34% of consumers pay their bills online through a bank site or carrier site.
- Mobile apps are being used primarily for reviewing payment balances & bills, filing claims and providing claims information. (Source: comScore webinar, May 6, 2010)